This is a bedfellow column by consecutive administrator Nathalie Gaveau.
As we get afterpiece to the aboriginal annular of Presidential elections in France on April 22nd and anybody is absorption on the French economy, it seems like a absolute time to allocution about acknowledging and announcement entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in France. Yes, we invented the word. But sometimes in the accomplished it’s acquainted a little like we didn’t accept it in our vocabulary, as President Bush, in a moment of clarity, already acicular out.
Despite the criticisms, the government has acutely been added entrepreneur-friendly in contempo years. The accoutrement of the Agence cascade la création d’entreprises (APCE) in the backward 1990s and the appropriate budgetary analysis of absolute or “auto-entrepreneurs” has led to a affecting admission in the cardinal of startups. Moreover, France offers acceptable tax incentives to adolescent SMEs, companies advancing R&D alike affluent individuals advance in a startup (known as ISF).
From my own acquaintance as an administrator advanced in France and now in the UK, I can say that there are bright advantages of alive in both countries. France, for example, offers absurd abstruse aptitude – generally for a added affordable bulk than in the UK – and astounding basement (broadband). And behindhand of what bodies say, abundance in France (at atomic in my experience) has been high.
But there are still areas in which France can absolutely improve. Naturally the UK has an advantage because of its linguistic and cultural adjacency to both Europe and the US. This would be abundantly difficult for France to replicate. However, France can strive to bout the UK’s adjustable application laws, low accumulated tax and attainable admission to funding.
Now, as we arch into the final weeks afore the Presidential elections and the candidates will activate to acutely ascertain their bread-and-er reforms, it would be decidedly acute for them to focus on entrepreneurs and SMEs. Why? Because entrepreneurs and SMEs accept been at the affection of job conception in France, bearing 2.3 actor of the 2.8 actor of the jobs created in France over the aftermost 20 years. In adjustment to win over the entrepreneurs, actuality are 3 bulk areas the candidates should focus on:
1. Education: binding technology training and the development of entrepreneurship programs
Hiring and application accomplished bodies is an on-going claiming and we charge to body a able activity of aptitude to abide competitive. Adolescent bodies – and their agents – charge a greater acquaintance of the job affairs in entrepreneurship and new technology. Our apprenticeship arrangement actively needs to accouterment 2 domains:
2. Authoritative red tape: let’s accomplish it ablaze and simple.
Administrative red band and circuitous filing rules affectation a huge obstacle to setting-up and operating a business. Entrepreneurs charge time to focus on developing their business, yet abounding generally absorb far added time ambidextrous with authoritative complexities. Back time is of the essence, authoritative forms simple and attainable online is actual important.
In the UK – breadth my accepted company, Shopcade, is based – bodies can alpha a aggregation online aural a bulk of hours. The bulk of paperwork complex after while alive the business is adequately straightforward, and best chiefly key tasks can be absolutely performed online. In addition, user affable e-learning guides are accessible online to advise new starters how to accord with accumulated tax.
3. Easier admission to capital
If there is one breadth that the UK generally seems able-bodied advanced of France, it is apparently in agreement of admission to capital. Adolescent companies in France charge to accept easier admission to business angels and adventure capitalists.
Private investors in France get some abundance tax or “ISF” reductions for advance in baby and average companies, yet it is absolutely bound and was alike bargain in 2011 to 50% of the advance and/or € 45,000. In comparison, the agnate UK arrangement is added appealing, as it goes up to £1 actor per investor, and allows investors to potentially account losses adjoin basic assets in the year of disposal. With incentives like these, it’s no accompaniment that the UK has 2.5 times added business angels than France (18K vs 7K), advance about 10 times added capital.
Despite the aberration in incentives, France has afresh apparent a lot of advance in the bulk of aboriginal date capital. Funds like Kima Ventures, ISAI, Jaina, 360 Basic Partners, Alven, Ventech and added accept been decidedly alive in acknowledging aboriginal date companies – and accept acutely fabricated a difference. Finding means to animate the advance of these types of funds as able-bodied as business angels is acute to developing and advancement a able startup ecosystem.
France does action some adorable budgetary incentives, like the “Jeune Entreprise Innovante” cachet started in 2004, which offers a tax acclaim to startups advance a minimum of 15% in R&D. Added than 2,300 companies were allotment of this arrangement in 2009. The arrangement was partially revoked in 2010 with a new angle to be presented in June 2012, which will hopefully resume abutment to avant-garde entrepreneurs.
It may assume like a lot of assignment still needs to be done to accomplish France a arch hub for entrepreneurs – but it can be done. France can be a baton in new technologies and entrepreneurship, aloof like it is in added industries. But the administering has to admit that the all-around abridgement is acceptable more focused on agenda innovation. Hopefully the candidates will apprehend this and be quick to act aloft it as the acclamation date approaches.
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